Art and Design


Subject Curriculum Vision

At Birley Primary Academy, the aim of our Art education is to give pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form. It should fire their imagination and be a fundamental means of personal expression. While it is essentially a practical subject, art should provide opportunities for reflection and, with increasing sensitivity, pupils should acquire the ability to make informed and personal responses of their own work and that of others. There is great pleasure to be derived from Art learning and, through deeper understanding; pupils can gain access to cultural richness and diversity. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives. At Birley Primary Academy, we believe that the learning of Art provides a valuable educational, as well as social and cultural, experiences for children of all ages.


Aims of the National Curriculum

The overarching aim for Art in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of creative work by equipping pupils with the techniques and materials to experiment with different kinds of art, craft and design. The National Curriculum for Art aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Teaching of the Curriculum

Details about how Birley Primary Academy deliver our Art and Design Curriculum can be found in the information below:

  • Over the course of the academic year, children will develop their skills in Art and Design through sequences of work delivered on a termly basis.
  • Every sequence of work is blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills, studying each sequence of learning in depth over an allocated period of time.
  • Birley Primary Academy adopts a mastery approach to teaching art and therefore, our art and design curriculum progresses in a linear manner.
  • Our pedagogical approach supports mastery: each art and design sequence is taught through a six step pedagogical approach.
  • Every sequence begins with observational drawing (step 1), before children are exposed to new art and artists (step 2). Children then develop their ideas using different medium (step 3). This ensures that children have the opportunity to develop their skills using pencil, pen, paint, chalk, charcoal and pastel so that children know how to hold, use and apply the media to achieve desired effects, and become proficient in doing so.
  • Next, children develop their ideas further through exploration of colour (step 4), where they are educated about colour names, mixing colours, tints, shades and tones, warm, cool, contrasting and complementary colours and colour for mood, effect and expression.
  • Finally, children then combine their ideas and inspiration into a final piece (step 5 and 6) through either sketching and/or painting, printing, 3D Art or computer art. Children have the opportunity to work individually and in groups, on both small and large scales, when producing these final pieces.
  • Children are provided with a knowledge organizer at the start of each project which details key knowledge and vocabulary. This is not used as part of an assessment but to support children with their acquisition of knowledge and used as a reference document.


At Birley Primary Academy, we have an extensive range of resources that support the teaching of our Art and Design curriculum. These include:

  • Equipment and materials for woodwork
  • Equipment and materials for textiles
  • Equipment and materials for cooking and nutrition
  • Equipment and materials for mechanisms
  • Equipment and materials for electronics
  • CAD/CAM equipment supported by ICT software
  • Non-fiction books about designers, engineers and scientists
  • Online Resources

Cross-Curricular Activities

Links are made with other curriculum areas wherever possible and art skills and techniques are often taught with other themes in mind.


By the time children leave Birley Primary Academy, we want them to have developed a passion for art and creativity, working both independently and collaboratively. They will have grown in confidence when using a range of tools and techniques, becoming artists that can apply the skills and knowledge that they have developed throughout the years and respond critically to their own and other’s work. 

How do we measure the impact of our Art curriculum?

Assessment of children’s learning in Art and Design is an ongoing monitoring of children’s understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children.

Summative assessments take place throughout the year and teachers record the progress and attainment against the National Curriculum expectations. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. Final end of year assessments are made using assessment criteria that has been developed in line with the National Curriculum. Thus identifying the level in which the child is working. 

Art and Design is also monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of book monitoring, looking at outcomes and pupil interviews to discuss their learning and understanding and establish the impact of the teaching taking place. Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked termly. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the academic year.

Readiness for Next Stage of Education

We endeavour to ensure that the sequence of content enables our children to progress whilst they are with us whilst also providing our pupils with the necessary foundations to build upon as they progress into secondary education and beyond.

Promotion of British Values and SMSC

In our Art and Design curriculum, we promote British values in many different ways. Below, you will find examples of how we achieve this:

  • To promote democracy, we help children to take into account the views of others
  • To promote rule of law, we ensure children understand the importance of safety rules when using tools and accept that if these rules are not followed that there are consequences to this.
  • To promote individual liberty, we encourage children to make safe choices in art and design
  • To help children develop tolerance, we ensure children experience and talk about art and design work from different cultures and religious beliefs
  • Our pupils develop mutual respect through collaborative work on projects and through offering help and advice to others

Further to this, our Art and Design curriculum is also driven by SMSC development and this can be exemplified in the following ways;

Spiritual Education

  • Use imagination and creativity, to explore ideas and feelings in works of Art and express themselves through their own art and design activities
  • Appreciate the achievements of other artists both contemporary and from the past
  • Develop fascination, awe and wonder in the work of others

Moral Education

  • Talk about how artists and designers represent moral issues through their work

Social Education

  • Collaborate to create pieces of work
  • Respect each other’s ideas and opinions when talking about pieces of art and design including the work of others in the class
  • Recognise the need to consider the views of others
  • Develop collaborative, cooperative and teamwork skills

Cultural Education

  • Reflect on the ways in which cultures are represented in art and design, understanding the ideas behind art, craft and design in different cultural contexts
  • Explore a range of festivals and celebrations from our own and other cultures


Art Curriculum Overview

Art Skills Progression